Book Review: Lost Girls

I decided to branch out a bit with this one and try some nonfiction. Normally, I am all about fiction. I do love crime novels, and I love watching dateline, so I figured maybe I would enjoy a true crime novel. 

Boy, could I be more wrong! I’m sure there are people out there that would love this book. However, it took me a week to get through 300 or so pages and it’s because literally every time I started reading it, I would fall asleep. I’m not kidding. The story the book is written on is fascinating, I feel honestly terrible that this is a true story, but I could not for the life of me keep my eyes open on this book. 

One factor that contributed to me sleeping on the book is that the organization really, really confused me. First, it talked about one girl who went missing, then it went into a totally different direction and went to the lives of the lost girls before they became escorts. Then, it went into a “part two” of that book which were completely different people who somehow related to the part one girls and told stories of after they became escorts up until the night they disappeared. For the record, these girls were not connected or friends, they all had completely different stories. So, for my mental sake, I really wish the author would have put each girl’s story all together. For example, start with Maureen before she became an escort, then immediately after have the chapter for the person telling the story of her escort days up until she went missing. I couldn’t keep anything straight! 

Not only did the organization trip me up, but it seemed like there were two names for everyone (or more, their escort names and then their real names, sometimes nicknames, and obviously pimps had pimp names and then real names). It didn’t seem like one was really used consistently either, and they weren’t introduced clearly enough for me to understand. When there are two names for everyone, and their stories are split up by at least four different stories…you get really confused. If I wanted to truly understand the stories I would have needed to draw a map and character trees as I was reading along, which frustrates me. 

Another part about the book that confused me is that in book two, it went over everything the police were thinking. For all we know, the girl in the prologue was not even related to the other girls, although she is at least the reason they started looking. Then there is mention of other bodies found that could or could not have been related. It just seems like some of the details were thrown in and not fully explained, although I understand that this is a unsolved mystery. 

One thing I really did like about the book is how it painted a picture of the families and victims straight from interviews. I really appreciate how the author portrayed the girls and the case around them. I am disgusted that the police treated this as not quite as important because of their jobs, but I can’t say I’m altogether surprised. Our world is full of injustices and this is just another example of that. 

I will give this book two stars, although I was leaning more towards one. Two stars because I am impressed with the tenacity of the author as his interviews were conducted near the end. At least I think they were because it had spots where it was written in first-person, so I just assumed. He really went above and beyond what I expect of an author, and while piecing the story together, it does appear he painted a true picture of the girls and does not look down on them as others do, he merely shows how they were in situations that called for desparate measures. 

Also, I hate how there was never a suspect, a trial, anything! The man who hired the girl in the prologue never really was a suspect. Really? That seems ridiculous, he hired her and was the last man to see her and be with her before she ran out of his house screaming for him not to kill her and he’s not a suspect? Wow. Maybe I missed something but it seems like he should have been questioned more than once. I really missed the ending wrapping everything up and answering any questions in my mind (like a fiction novel would). I feel for the families and friends of these girls as they will never get answers or have closure. This book has taught me I need to stick to my fiction genre for reading, especially if I want an ending that doesn’t leave me with more questions than answers! 

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